Yemen has become oil importer country, President says

SANA'A, June 15 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh affirmed on Tuesday that Yemen has become an oil importer country due to the country's low oil production and increasing consumption of oil in the local market. Saleh, who chaired the government's meeting today, noted that the government should talk frankly to the people about the reality of support of the oil derivatives, directing the government to provide an integrated scientific study on the policy of supporting the oil derivatives, in which the current spending amounts to more than YR 510 billion annually. The continuation in supporting the oil derivatives in the current situation encourages corruption, Saleh pointed out, adding that solutions should be set out for this situation so as to achieve the national interest, including raising wages in general for the State's employees and supporting the Social Welfare Fund. President Saleh stressed the importance of moving forward in the efforts of economic and administrative reforms and rationalizing spending in all fields, urging the government to work for the development of fiscal revenues and investment in the fields of oil, gas, minerals, fisheries, and agriculture, as well as the expansion in the fields of public works and roads, electricity and water to serve the development goals. In addition to, he instructed the government to reconsider the agreement of the sale of the liquefied natural gas exported through the Yemeni port of Balhaf in Shabwa province, so as to cope with the changes of gas prices in the global market and achieve the national interest. In this respect, he affirmed the importance of cooperation and coordination between the government and the Parliament to expedite issuing legislations; especially those relevant to the aspects of reforms and the agreements of the exploration for oil, gas and minerals. On another hand, President Saleh renewed his call for a serious and responsible dialog, which serves the nation interest, stressing that the dialog would remain the best means to address all issues in the country. He pointed to the State's trends towards the local governance of large powers and strengthening the role of local authorities in the provinces to address the citizens' issues and accelerate the development efforts in the districts. In this regard, he alluded to his instructions during his recent meeting with the parliamentarians and local councils in the provinces of Lahj and Dalei on the necessity of holding meetings in the two provinces to discuss the issues that concern citizens in the two provinces and to take the suitable actions to address those issues. "The local authority is the key in addressing the citizens' issues", Saleh said, stressing the importance of supporting the security services to carry out their role in maintaining the security and public order in the society. Concluding his speech, President Saleh emphasized the government to focus on the economic aspects and investments and improve the administrative performance and to provide more jobs to reduce unemployment as well as to develop a long-term development strategy to recruit all resources in the best manner to serve the goals of development and improve the living conditions of citizens. BASaba